…and the quest to see everything

…Your Best Shot: Singin’ In The Rain

I don’t want to be the party pooper here but the movie has as least one musical sequence that perfunctorily ends with ceasing action followed by the characters laughing at each other for singing and dancing so committed. But my favourite shot is part of a sequence that plays a dance number out more seamlessly, and I feel like I have to apologize because it’s a boring answer because it’s in the titular sequence. The shot strangely reminds me of, pardon my over-analyzing, this mini-lecture I attended about the Three Stooges and a return to primitivism. But instead of a bourgeois dinner turned into a food fight, the arc is from Don practicing civilized forms expression, singing and dancing, to jumping on a puddle like a kid. Like its slapstick predecessor this is about the joy of release. This is also Rob Marshall favourite shot although I don’t know what that says about me.

Unlike the drawn pencil dreamlike aesthetic Kelly’s Oscar-winning vehicle An American in Paris in 1951 – which I actually like, mind you – this movie’s palette are more solid and bright. A few scenes like those come to mind, like the musical montage, making us wonder what it Busby Berekely would have done with colour, and Don’s dream images. But this sequence, which seems dour on paper, when Don takes a gamble after being present in the worst preview screenings of one of his movies, when it’s raining in Los Angeles, a sequence where gray and black dominate, is just as happy as the scenes with brighter colours in them. It’s also those elegant colours complemented by Kelly’s smoothness that make the scene work.

Singin’ in the Rain is also playing in every Cineplex Theatre in Toronto at 7PM because of some 60th anniversary thing, co-presented by TCM. The sound you will be hearing is me lamenting my work schedule and slow, impending bankruptcy, stopping me from being in this event.

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2 responses

  1. The first Gene Kelly movie I saw was AN AMERICAN IN PARIS and it turned me off him for years because I REALLY don’t like that movie. So, I too, didn’t see SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN until I was older – late teens.

    There are so many fantastic shots to choose from, and yours is a lovely one.

    ” This is also Rob Marshall favourite shot although I don’t know what that says about me.”
    It say you have at least a modicum of taste. I’m so tired of people ragging on Marshall. A director who has perhaps not been as on-point as I’d have hoped, but obviously talented and with a love for film. Hardly something to disparage. But, whatever, I guess.

    August 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    • I so do not get the hate about AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. It’s such a light movie. The same way you might feel about Rob Marshall, who I’m still trying to figure out underneath the glossy, quick surfaces. And that’s not a backhand compliment on both accounts.

      I couldn’t do any thematic assessment on the shots so I just went from an emotional standpoint, not matter how conventional it is. I like yours too. I always root for Lina.

      August 18, 2012 at 1:13 am

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